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Danes eye Middle East airport developments

A Danish manufacturer is considering setting up a US$5 million production plant in Dubai to supply Middle East airports with a pavement product new to the region but already well established in…

A Danish manufacturer is considering setting up a US$5 million production plant in Dubai to supply Middle East airports with a pavement product new to the region but already well established in Europe, the US and the Far East.



The company, Densit, is currently assessing major regional interest shown in its Densiphalt semi-flexible pavement solution during Airport Show in Dubai, but already realises that a permanent presence in the region is vital.



“We have production plants in Malaysia and the US as well as Denmark, and we will have to consider opening a production plant in the Middle East as part of a long-term strategy if we are going to be able to follow up on a fantastic week in Dubai,” said Lars Juhl Hansen, the company’s Segment Manager, Ports & Airports.



“We’ve been invited for product trials at more than six airports, including Dubai, Doha, Ras Al Khaimah and in Oman. We won’t make a dime on the trials but this is an investment in the future. We want the people down here to be able to evaluate this concept which is totally new to the region.”



The Airport Show attracted a record 5,157 visitors, and Hansen said: “It was the best event we have ever participated in, and we didn’t have time to sit down and assess everything during the show because we were so busy. But it’s clear that we will have to be in this region, otherwise we won’t be able to capitalise.”



Research carried by Airport Show organisers Streamline Marketing Group shows that airport development and expansions worth nearly US$60 billion are currently taking place across the region, with US$ 20 billion in the UAE alone.



Densit aims to capitalise with a product it invented in 1978, and which has been in use at major international airports from Heathrow to Honolulu for 20 years. Densit, up until now, has concentrated on the European, US and Far East markets, but worldwide expansion is now to come.



Middle East airport officials who met the Densit team in Dubai were impressed that Densiphalt combines the best properties of asphalt and concrete, meaning it can take aircraft 24 hours after being laid. It has no joints, which makes construction and repairs easier and less time consuming. By comparison, concrete can take up to 28 days to set.



As soon as the business development allows, Densit will now use a team of researchers to find Middle East sources of raw materials needed in the production process. “One of the raw materials we need is cement, but it has to be the right kind,” said Hansen. “Finding raw materials is a problem for us in many regions.”



Mette Blach, Consultant with the Danish Airport Group, said: “Next year you will see a much bigger Danish presence at the show because of the airport projects in this region which means there is great potential for our companies.”

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